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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Default Walking on Sunshine

Another in series "after-work hike from Canmore". Jogged up Sunshine access road, then had alpine bliss: Rock Isle, Grizzly and Larix lakes with highline return via Standish viewpoint - Twin Cairns/Meadow Park. Clear skies and moonshine - didn't even need headlamp. There is so much beauty in the world; why do people have to fight over nonsense and sometimes be so mean to each other. Anyways, for those interested in conditions after snowfall / cooling Oct 1/2: Everything is white, but there is not much. I was walking at 2400-2500 el with just a dusting under my feet. Perhaps pictures can tell better story:

Rock Isle Lake:


Grizzly Lake:


Larix Lake:


Standish Highpoint: Check out Boine in the distance


Sublime moment coming down: Moon over Assiniboine. Note to self: Hike to Magog from Sunshine next year is a must
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 09:27 AM
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Great photos as always Zeljkok! Assiniboine with the moon, wow!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 09:32 AM
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Awesome photos, do you know the distance you covered and how long you were out ?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by Bradorr

Awesome photos, do you know the distance you covered and how long you were out ?
Think distance, including walk on access road, was 18-20 km and perhaps 700 vertical (?) Time was about 4:30, but did not stop for any breaks except photo taking. You can run if you want entire length or keep 4-5km/hour pace without any trouble. It is amazing how much reward you get in Rockies almost for free; on the Coast you have to work much harder for just about anything that gets you to alpine.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Exactly 1 year later.. visit to Sunshine has become pretty much a must in larch season, same as Skoki or O'Hara. This time decided to follow Assiniboine trail to Quartz pass, down to Howard Douglas lake and over to Citadel pass. This is got to be one of best meadow walks ever! On return did side trip to Quartz hills then followed ridge (no trail) all the way to Rock Isle lake. Pictures don't do justice:

[Views from Quartz Pass. Howard Douglas lake in larch cirque below; Citadel Peak upper center, mighty Assiniboine far right]

[Artist Palette on display at Howard Douglas lake. There is campground here too; would be awesome to spend a night!]

[Approaching Citadel Pass. Someone must have scrambled Citadel Peak? It looks very doable, right slanting scree gully, then sharp left and up talus to summit]


[Views from Citadel Pass towards 'Boine core area. This is about 9.5 km from Sunshine village. Side trail branches here up to Fatigue Pass]


[Howard Douglas panorama, taken on return]

[Lovely tarn on lower slopes of Quartz Hills]

Scenery this time of year, on a day like this is simply unreal. I've been lucky to visit some remote corners of this planet, but come 2nd half of September Canadian Rockies beat them all, hands down.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 02:42 AM
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Oh, screw you and your beautiful photos. Why are you trying to make me miserable while I'm stuck at home
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 01:22 PM
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Very nice! I'm super bummed that I timed my two weeks off during two snow dumps in the 'boine area so I didn't get to go in there this year. I skied Citadel a few years ago. We ascended the opposite end of the ridge.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
[Approaching Citadel Pass. Someone must have scrambled Citadel Peak? It looks very doable, right slanting scree gully, then sharp left and up talus to summit]
I've done it before after setting up camp at Howard Douglas. Easy walk-up for the most part with beautiful views. There was a very active wolf den to the east and the wolves kept howling for hours after we'd left the summit to return to the lake.

Fun is where you make it...
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msulkers View Post
I've done it before after setting up camp at Howard Douglas. Easy walk-up for the most part with beautiful views.
What was the line you took? I was looking at this


Is there something easier from the other side of Citadel Pass? I did not walk beyond Fatigue Pass junction. I'm curious about summer conditions, not ski trip.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 12:43 AM
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Your pictures are amazing! It looks so much less crowded up there right now.

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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
It is amazing how much reward you get in Rockies almost for free; on the Coast you have to work much harder for just about anything that gets you to alpine.
This. People here in Vancouver sometimes look at me like I'm crazy for wanting to go to Alberta to go hiking every summer. I feel like hiking in the Canadian Rockies is really getting spoiled in the work to reward ratio.

Not the fastest, but I get to where I am going and enjoy it.

Last edited by SarcasticMarmot; 09-25-2015 at 12:53 AM.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 10:55 AM
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I looked at that exact same line when I hiked in the Assiniboine earlier in the summer, but then when you get to the other side of Citadel Peak, you find a nice grassy route actually makes the trip look a lot easier (see photo). You can also see how it got its name!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
I looked at that exact same line when I hiked in the Assiniboine earlier in the summer, but then when you get to the other side of Citadel Peak, you find a nice grassy route actually makes the trip look a lot easier (see photo). You can also see how it got its name!
oh, dang it! Now I'm quite bummed; this is like what, 1 or 1 1/2 hr return from Citadel Pass & I had time. Maybe next year, both Citadel peak & Fatigue Pass.

btw most people know this, but access is on Sunshine road which you can't drive. There is daily shuttle, that presumably can be booked here. I never took it & think it's not worth; takes only an hour to walk up that road, less down & you are not limited by schedule. Bikes are allowed, but it's fairly steep & I imagine most would have to push large part going up.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 08:59 PM
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Amazing pics
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Early October '16 edition

Wanted just to do Rock Isle - Grizzly - Larix photo tour, but having tea at shores of Larix lake and still with plenty of time spotted distinct ridge I haven't been to before. Thought I'd have good view of Monarch (Ramparts) and evaluate eventual route to Eohippus lake this way, so I decided to climb it. I found later at home this ridge is called "Twin Cairns". I ascended from south side, and it is very nice going through larches and then final ascent on talus. I bypassed first summit side-slopping on left side, but it was better to stay on top. Main summit is an easy scramble. Looking from the top I figured I might be able to do a loop and descend on the other side. It was a bit involved due to layer on snow on boulders & required extra caution. Eventually I dropped to expansive meadows on north side, then turned right and hiked out; didn't bother looking for Simpson Pass trail, just trashed down Ski Runs to main Sunshine area. Couple of pics with narrative in caption:


[Larix lake looking north. Twin Cairns is shapely ridge upper center-left]


[Final part of ridge. It becomes apparent where "Twin Cairns" name comes from. Far summit is higher]


[Looking back at south part of ridge I just ascended. Far reaching views with Assiniboine center right. You can also spot Rock Isle and Larix lakes]


[Zoom at Eohippus lake below Monarch. It appears possible to connect this way, but with substantial elevation drop. Think it is better to take official trail via Simpson Pass (?), if coming from main Sunshine area]


[Pano stitch looking NW on descent from Twin Cairns on north side. Monarch far left, Monarch Ramparts to its right. Healy pass area right, Mt. Ball behind]


Finally to finish with nice pic of Rock Isle lake, taken earlier in the day:
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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These are tracks of Twin Cairns loop; cut off trail near Larix/Grizzly loop junction, but it can probably be done earlier i.e directly from Rock Isle lake. Also worth noting drop from Twin Cairns to Eohippus via Simpson River drainage would NOT be smart idea; too steep and unnecessary elevation loss. Simpson Pass approach is way better (and on established trail).




Now to think of it, possibly best loop hike (hike, not scramble) in the area would be Sunshine -- Simpson Pass -- Eohippus Lake -- Monarch Ramparts -- Healy Pass -- hike out to Sunshine parking. Might be too late this season though, plenty of snow already and larches fading

Alternate Twin Cairns report with lots of high-res photos, map and downloadable GPS track here
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Last edited by zeljkok; 10-09-2016 at 08:17 PM.
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